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Akonix Delivers Predictions for Corporate Instant Messaging in 2007


San Diego, CA – January 2, 2007 – Akonix Systems, Inc., provider of the most deployed instant messaging (IM) security and compliance products in the world, today published its top five predictions for enterprise IM in 2007.

Akonix predicts the predominant IM concern for companies in 2007 will be a higher level of risk management, encompassing security, compliance, e-discovery and corporate liability for electronic communications:

1. Investment in archiving technologies for IM will soar in 2007. In addition to previous regulatory actions that require archival and retrieval of IM, changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2006 require capabilities for storing and retrieving IM conversations that are deemed relevant to legal actions. Corporate legal departments and boards of directors will then instruct IT departments to ensure compliance with the many regulations governing electronic communications to avoid significant liabilities.
2. Spyware, worms, viruses and other malicious attacks will continue to exploit the unprotected IM vector to propagate and wreak havoc within corporate networks. Attacks through IM will be more sophisticated (e.g. multi-stage worms, Trojans and spyware) and more criminal (e.g. keyloggers for access to online banking). New attacks will be launched at or above the same 92% annual growth rate Akonix charted in 2006.
3. 2007 will see a dramatic increase in legal actions against employers for hostile workplace and sexual harassment claims stemming from inappropriate use of IM at work. Dubbed the ‘Foley Syndrome’ after former Congressman Mark Foley’s infamous indiscretions over IM, the harassment of colleagues over IM will likely become front-page news during 2007. A recent Akonix survey showed that over one-third of respondents have been threatened or harassed over IM at work. This represents over 25 million potential lawsuits in the United States alone for corporations who do not take action to filter and scan electronic messaging.
4. The use of IM for corporate espionage and other leaks of confidential and proprietary information will make headlines in 2007. Employees have learned that email is scanned for content and types of files attached, and will turn to IM to get around corporate security for electronic communications. Companies without proper tools in place for IM risk management will suffer loss of intellectual property through both maliciousness and employee negligence.
5. Business applications leveraging presence and real-time communications will start to be deployed in 2007. Examples of these will include customer service and support, corporate directories and corporate IM bots and natural language IM query applications for enhancing employee productivity.

During 2006, the Akonix IM Security Center identified 406 unique IM threats from viruses, worms, Trojans and other malicious code. Nearly 60% of respondents to a July 2006 Akonix poll stated they use IM as an alternative to email for communicating and sharing data with colleagues, partners and customers.

“We are predicting that 2007 will be the year in which multiple forces collide to create an undeniable pressure on companies to take action to avoid the risks and liabilities they face due to their employees’ use of IM in the workplace,” said Peter Shaw, CEO of Akonix. “The combination of the changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure plus existing records retention regulations, liability for inappropriate use by employees and risk of network outages from hacker attacks creates a ‘perfect storm’ that poses multi-million dollar risks to all organizations.”

Gartner analysts say that IT administrators who do not manage and protect public IM will experience 80% more IM-related security incidents than those that do. According to the ‘2006 Workplace E-Mail, Instant Messaging & Blog Survey’ from American Management Association (AMA) and The ePolicy Institute, 35% of employees use IM at work, only 31% of organizations have an IM policy in place and only 13% retain IM business records.

Peter Shaw, CEO at Akonix is available to provide a detailed overview of the key IM risk management predictions listed above and discuss what companies can do to protect themselves.

About Akonix
Akonix is the most deployed IM security product in the world, enabling Global 1000 companies to deploy productive, enterprise-wide IM that is secure, compliant and managed.

Worldwide over one million people across hundreds of organizations in the Financial Services, Telecommunications, Energy, Technology, Healthcare and Entertainment industries use Akonix products. With more than 20 patent applications, Akonix’s 360° Security provides the industry’s only automatically-updated protection to block viruses and malware for both enterprise and public IM systems. Akonix has certified partnerships with all leading IM and presence providers including America Online®, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Reuters, IBM, Jabber, Inc., Parlano, Antepo and Bloomberg.

An IM industry first, the Akonix IM Security Center ( provides real-time information about worms, viruses and other vulnerabilities that target IM and P2P networks. The company issues monthly and quarterly IM threat watch reports to track key trends and vulnerabilities.

For further information on the company, please visit


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